Wednesday Open Thread | “Roots” 40th Anniversary Week

Happy HUMP day, Everyone.

Today’s feature: Kizzy (Leslie Uggams and and Missy Anne’s (Sandy Duncan)

Kizzy (1790-1861) is the daughter of Kunta Kinte and Belle Waller. At sixteen, she was sold to another plantation and bore her new master’s son, “Chicken” George. She is the great-great-great-grandmother of Alex Haley. She used to play school with a white girl named Missy Anne. She learned how to read and write.

Childhood and Teenage Life at Waller (1790-1806)Edit


Kizzy was the first generation of the Kinte family to be born into slavery on September 12, 1790 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia on the s Waller Plantation to Kunta Kinte and his wife, Bell Reynolds. Kunta chooses the name “Kizzy,” which means “stay put” in Mandika. Just as his own father, Omoro Kinte, had done with him back in Africa, Kunta takes the infant Kizzy out to perform the Africans’ ritual custom of birth, holding the naked baby up high under a starry sky, saying, “Behold, the only thing greater than yourself.” The rest of Kizzy’s childhood is never shown in the series, but it is indicated that her father raised her with the customs of his people.

Teenage Life Kizzy was enslaved and raped by a white man and she was taken away from her family and she was sold to another slave master

When she is sixteen, Kizzy falls in love with a field hand, Noah, the son of Ada, another field hand. Noah desperately wants to escape the plantation and asks Kunta for his advice (as Kunta had made repeated attempts to escape, before being maimed by slave catchers.) Being in love with Noah, Kizzy tries to talk him out of going, warning him what she overheard about what patrollers do to runaways between Master Waller and a visitor, but he will not be swayed. Unbeknownst to Kunta, Kizzy helps Noah escape by using her secret ability to write to forge a traveling pass. Noah then escapes into the night, Kizzy prays to Jesus to protect Noah from the slave catchers for him to reach North.



ROOTS “Kizzy” Painful Decision

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76 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | “Roots” 40th Anniversary Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    Underground was wonderful. I definitely didn’t see that ending tonight.😱😱😱

    • eliihass says:

      The apple does not fall far from the tree…Meghan McCain is desperate to keep her gig at FOX…and she’s just as hollow, fake, cowardly, petty, opportunistic, flaky and mealy-mouthed as her father…

      • eliihass says:

        😂☺️Every last decent, honest and truth-telling person knows what the deal is…there’s a reason smart folks around the world are up in arms …and at the same time are reveling in the mocking of the buffoon in much the same way as folks at the Onion are ….and we all know the historic POTUS must be too..

        “…WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump’s claim that Barack Obama wiretapped him received a strong denial on Monday from the former President, who said to reporters, “Like I’d want to hear more from that fool?”

        Obama said that, when he first saw Trump’s allegations on Twitter, “My first thought was, Only a narcissist on the scale of Donald Trump would think people want to hear more from him than they currently do. If anything, I think we’d all like to hear way, way less.”

        He said that his wife, Michelle, agreed that the idea of his wanting to hear more from Donald Trump “was one of the funniest things she’s ever heard.”

        “When I read her those Trump tweets on Saturday morning, she totally cracked up,” the former President said. “Whenever we’re at home and that guy comes on TV, I’m always, like, ‘Michelle, turn that damn thing off.’ ”

        Obama visibly shuddered at the notion of intelligence agencies providing him with hours of recordings of Donald Trump talking. “Don’t even,” he said…”

      • Liza says:

        Ha ha. So true. Every time I see Trump’s fat, orange face on the TV, I press MUTE.

    • eliihass says:

      Try as they may, they can’t erase this historic presidency that overcame and more than thrived in spite of every obstacle and trick the opposition came up with..

      It’s obvious that that’s been the goal…and it’s why many folks who’d have otherwise pushed back hard at the crazy buffoon or spoken up very loudly in the midst of this madness playing out before our eyes, have either jumped on the buffoon’s bandwagon under any number of guises…or have weaseled away out of sight into some dark corner from where they’ve been secretly giving the buffoon and his cronies aid and comfort and helping make excuses for the dangerously amateur hour Oval Office theatrics unfolding before our eyes…

      But in spite of the naysayers, the Obamas will keep winning and they’ll have the last laugh – and will still be laughing long after the buffoon and his enablers have been cleared out…

    • Ametia says:

      LOL No one could be more bitter than McGrumpy, McShamey, you, and your loser father, Meghan.


    • Liza says:

      What is so sad is that people born into extreme wealth like this McCain woman have a real opportunity to do something worthwhile with their lives. What a waste when they don’t.

  2. rikyrah says:

    Jim Acosta‏Verified account @Acosta

    Trump told Tea Party groups at WH if GOP health care plan dies, he will let Obamacare fail and let Dems take the blame, I’m told.

  3. rikyrah says:

    Found at BJ

    from an amphibious task force have left their ships in the Middle East
    and deployed to Syria, establishing an outpost from which they can fire
    artillery guns in support of the fight to take back the city of Raqqa
    from the Islamic State, defense officials said.

    The deployment marks a new escalation in the U.S. war in Syria, and
    puts more conventional U.S. troops in the battle. Several hundred
    Special Operations troops have advised local forces there for months,
    but the Pentagon has mostly shied away from using conventional forces in
    Syria. The new mission comes as the Trump administration weighs a plan
    to take back Raqqa, the so-called capital of the Islamic State, that
    also includes more Special Operations troops and attack helicopters.

  4. Ametia says:

    Season Two UNDERSGROUND, coming up at 9 p.m. tonight

  5. rikyrah says:

    Arkansas Governor Looks to Strip Medicaid from 60,000 People

    Mar 8, 2017, 3:07pm Teddy Wilson

    New restrictions to the Medicaid expansion program would lower the maximum income for recipients and add a work requirement.

    Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on Monday announced proposed changes to the state’s Medicaid expansion program that would dramatically reduce health-care access for the state’s low-income families.

    The governor’s proposal would lower the income requirement for Medicaid eligibility from 138 percent of the federal poverty level to 100 percent. That change would reduce the income cutoff for an individual from $16,643 to $12,060, and reduce the income cutoff for a family of four from $33,948 to $24,600.

    If Hutchison’s amendments are approved by the federal government, around 60,000 Arkansas residents enrolled in Medicaid would no longer be eligible for the program.

    he Republican governor said during the press conference that the proposal would only shift people from Medicaid to the federal health insurance exchange and the individual marketplace. “It will not deprive those that are in that category of health-care coverage,” Hutchinson said. “It will just simply shift them if they’re above the federal poverty level toward the individual marketplace.

  6. yahtzeebutterfly says:
    Published on Oct 15, 2016 by Peter Yarrow
    “Lift Us Up” sung by Bethany Yarrow
    Lift us up
    Make our stand
    Let Love triumph
    In our land
    Lift us up
    Make us strong
    Give us courage
    To right the wrong

    America our hopes and dreams
    Are truly all at stake
    Let not the hate divide us
    Let not our spirit break
    Let not our courage falter
    Let not our bravery fail
    Let unity bring victory
    Let love prevail !

    Lift us up
    Make our stand
    Let Love triumph
    In our land
    Lift us up
    Make us strong
    Give us courage
    To right the wrong

    Lift us up
    Make our stand
    Let Love triumph
    In our land

    Peter & Bethany Yarrow – Silver Dawn Music © 2016, ASCAP

  7. rikyrah says:

    Sources: Brownback in talks with Trump administration about an ambassadorship
    March 8, 2017

    Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) will be named the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations for Food and Agriculture, the Kansas City Star reports.

    “A possible appointment to the Trump administration for Brownback has been rumored since November, but the governor has been tight-lipped about his prospects. His office would not confirm the accuracy of the report from Kansas Public Radio when asked for comment late Wednesday afternoon.”

    • eliihass says:

      Scraping the barrel as usual..

      Ever thirsty and desperately shifty and slimy, 3-prong tongued, mealy-mouthed Jon Huntsman is said to be headed to Russia as pretend-Ambassador…Jon Huntsman is shameless and constantly looking for a hook-up – even if he has to be peed on humiliated first…there’s no humiliation or bridge too far for Jon huntsman…the guy is so greasy and weasly and likes a spine and any whiff of integrity…

    • eliihass says:

      How ‘generous’ 🙄of Ebony magazine to finally recognize the historic FLOTUS in some way again after spending the best part of the last 6 years of the historic presidency doing their darnedest to spitefully sideline her specifically…courtesy of Desiree Rogers and her bff Linda Rice Johnson ..

      It’s not lost on those who’ve paid attention that while the Obamas actually posed for the various photographs Essence Magazine has used in recent years – including those that have accompanied recent interviews and stories highlighting and supporting their various initiatives while in office – the above photograph of the historic FLOTUS actually belongs to and must have been purchased from stock/editorial photographs courtesy of Variety magazine…this was Variety magazine’s historic August 2016 FLOTUS cover/interview …first time the industry magazine had a FLOTUS/non-industry personality on their cover…kinda hard to draw battle lines and then suddenly want to make nice after the fact…and when your several years worth of attempts at snub and undermine mostly fail – and the target of your silly vendetta rises still…in spite of you and your shady squad and your malicious and petty shenanigans…

      And then you begin to want in again, and start trying to make ‘nice’ and injecting yourself belatedly into historic FLOTUS-related stuff… and trying to get all chummy with and faux-supportive of the one you tried unsuccessfully to trip up .. trying to jump back on the bandwagon…after realizing that nobody cared that about your silly, childish boasts about belonging to a ‘higher social circle than them in Chicago’ … and nobody gave a damn about being ‘President Obama’s Social Secretary’ once you left – especially since everyone knows the Social Secretary like it or not, works for and reports to the First Lady…

    • Liza says:

      Powerful message. Forty three years should have made a difference, but here we are again. And I’ll just be hanged if I will ever understand why.

  8. Liza says:

    Trump will ‘look at’ Social Security, Medicare cuts: White House budget director
    Mar 8th 2017 11:40AM

    Donald Trump said during his presidential campaign not to touch Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, but Trump’s new budget director says he’s working on getting the president to “look at” entitlement reform.

    “There are ways that we can not only allow the president to keep his promise but to help him keep his promise by fixing some of these mandatory programs,” said Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, on Hugh Hewitt’s conservative radio show Monday.

    Mulvaney said he’s been attempting to “socialize the discussion” with the White House about making cuts to the popular retirement programs. “I think people are starting to grab it,” said Mulvaney.

    “As soon as the 2018 spending budget is done at the end of next week, I’m hoping to put together something for the president to look at on the other pieces of entitlement spending, or mandatory spending,” he said.

    Mulvaney argues that the president can keep his campaign promise and still enact entitlement reform by framing the act of saving Social Security, and that the replacing Obamacare is a good place to start.

    “Clearly, you can help fix and solve Medicaid as part of this larger Obamacare replacement, right, that the two things are tied together. So if we get Obamacare replacement right, it might also allow us to fix Medicaid,” Mulvaney said.

    During his confirmation hearings in January, Mulvaney told members of the Senate Budget Committee he was committed to advising President Trump to make “difficult decisions today in order to avoid nearly impossible ones tomorrow” on entitlement reform.

    Many Republicans support making cuts they say will ensure the programs’ long-term solvency, a platform then presidential candidate Trump rebuked during the 2016 election.

    • eliihass says:

      That the most ignorant of Tea Party a-holes, bloody Mick Mulvaney, is now playing pretend OMB director, is another stark reminder that we’re really in the Twilight zone…and our country has been hijacked by the dumbest, most crooked and drunkenly deluded of corrupt hill-billy white supremacist idiots mimicking adults, playing dress-up and make-believe professionals….and have somehow managed to swipe the keys to the carefully restored, one of a kind, ultimate collector car and are now on a crazy joy ride…swerving and skidding and dangerously skimming and hovering around a ditch and a sink hole…

  9. Ametia says:

    Michelle Obama Surprises a Group of Female Students on International Women’s Day
    Those were some lucky girls.

  10. Ametia says:
  11. Ametia says:

    Michelle Obama Surprises a Group of Female Students on International Women’s Day

    Michelle Obama is celebrating International Women’s Day by inspiring girls up close and in person. Today, the former first lady surprised a group of female students a Cardozo Education Campus in Washington, D.C. Luckily, she documented the whole experience on Snapchat.

    Before launching the surprise, Obama explained her plan to the camera in a hushed voice. “We’re celebrating International Women’s Day with a group of amazing young women. We’re going to talk about education and the importance of it in their lives and in mine,” she said in a video.

  12. rikyrah says:

    What if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Had Swapped Genders?
    A restaging of the presidential debates with an actress playing Trump and an actor playing Clinton yielded surprising results.
    Feb 28, 2017
    Eileen Reynolds
    Feb 28, 2017

    After watching the second televised debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in October 2016—a battle between the first female candidate nominated by a major party and an opponent who’d just been caught on tape bragging about sexually assaulting women—Maria Guadalupe, an associate professor of economics and political science at INSEAD, had an idea. Millions had tuned in to watch a man face off against a woman for the first set of co-ed presidential debates in American history. But how would their perceptions change, she wondered, if the genders of the candidates were switched? She pictured an actress playing Trump, replicating his words, gestures, body language, and tone verbatim, while an actor took on Clinton’s role in the same way. What would the experiment reveal about male and female communication styles, and the differing standards by which we unconsciously judge them?
    Guadalupe reached out to Joe Salvatore, a Steinhardt clinical associate professor of educational theatre who specializes in ethnodrama—a method of adapting interviews, field notes, journal entries, and other print and media artifacts into a script to be performed as a play. Together, they developed Her Opponent, a production featuring actors performing excerpts from each of the three debates exactly as they happened—but with the genders switched. Salvatore cast fellow educational theatre faculty Rachel Whorton to play “Brenda King,” a female version of Trump, and Daryl Embry to play “Jonathan Gordon,” a male version of Hillary Clinton, and coached them as they learned the candidates’ words and gestures. A third actor, Andy Wagner, would play the moderator in all three debates, with the performances livestreamed. Andrew Freiband, a professor in the Department of Film/Animation/Video at the Rhode Island School of Design, provided the video design. (Watch footage from a Her Opponent rehearsal below.)

  13. rikyrah says:

    Why President Trump’s Leaked Immigration Order Is a Threat to Us All
    by Wendy Cervantes March 8, 2017

    In his first address to Congress, President Donald Trump boasted about his recent executive orders and promised to continue to push an immigration agenda that will prove deeply harmful and divisive.

    So far, the president’s immigration orders have had or threatened to have dire consequences for citizens and non-citizens alike—from tearing families apart to creating a climate of fear within whole communities. A leaked executive order threatens to undercut basic lifelines for low-income immigrant families, and could have serious long-term implications for us all, regardless of immigration status. As proposed, the executive order would deny admission to anyone deemed likely to receive a wide range of income-based supports that low-wage workers and their families, native-born as well as foreign-born, rely on in tough times. This proposal is not only inhumane, it is grossly unfair to millions of taxpaying Lawful Permanent Residents who would be denied benefits.

    For nearly a century, U.S immigration law has used the “public charge” test to ensure that newcomers do not end up relying on the government for their “subsistence” or basic survival, such as using public cash assistance—like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program—as their primary source of support. But it has never been used to completely exclude people who will be working their way up from low-wage jobs. In fact, that is the traditional story of immigrants in America. Trump’s proposal, however, would drastically reverse longstanding guidelines for who would be excluded from the country.

    The proposal, for example, could make someone inadmissible to the United States if the Department of Homeland Security determines that she may at some point in the future attempt to access public nutrition assistance or health care. It would also punish permanent residents with deportation if they use these same types of programs within the first five years of entering the United States, a severe consequence only currently used in extremely rare circumstances.

  14. #InternationalWomensDay

    I’m Every Woman

  15. rikyrah says:

    The Steele Dossier Is Increasingly Being Corroborated
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    March 8, 2017 11:15 AM

    One of the lessons that reverberates from the whole Watergate investigation is that “Deep Throat” counseled Woodward and Bernstein to “follow the money.” To the extent that holds for the investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign cooperated with Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election, a guy by the name of Mikhail Kalugin – head of the Economics Section of the Russian Embassy in the U.S. at the time – is a critical piece of the puzzle.

    While his name is misspelled, here is what the Steele dossier says about Kalugin:

    …a senior Russian MFA official reported that as a prophylactic measure, a leading Russian diplomat, Mikhail Kulagin, has been withdrawn from Washington at short notice because Moscow feared his heavy involvement in the US presidential election operation, including the so-called veterans’ pension ruse (reported previously), would be exposed in the media there.

    The “so-called veterans’ pension ruse” is reported in the dossier to be the way that Russia arranged to pay hackers and others who were involved in the presidential election operation. That report is dated September 14th and, as it turns out, Kalugin actually left DC and returned to Russia in August. Even more significantly, here is what McClatchy reported about Kalugin last month.

    A Russian diplomat who worked in the Washington embassy left the country last August while federal investigators examined whether he played a key covert role in the alleged Kremlin-directed plot to influence last fall’s U.S. elections.

    Two people with knowledge of a multi-agency investigation into the Kremlin’s meddling have told McClatchy that Mikhail Kalugin was under scrutiny when he departed. He has been an important figure in the inquiry into how Russia bankrolled the email hacking of top Democrats and took other measures to defeat Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump capture the White House, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation.

  16. rikyrah says:

    Also, too, in case anyone missed it- the actual real name of the bill is: “H.R.1275 – World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017.” Yes, really.

  17. rikyrah says:

    From BJ:

    Yarrow says:
    March 8, 2017 at 1:12 pm
    Here’s something else you can use in your discussions and posts about this bill. If Medicaid gets gutted, grandma or mom in the nursing home via Medicaid will get kicked out. Many states have laws on the books REQUIRING kids to take care of their elderly parents. Here’s a link to Elder Law Answers about that issue:

    Twenty-eight states currently have laws making adult children responsible for their parents if their parents can’t afford to take care of themselves. While these laws are rarely enforced, there has been speculation that states may begin dusting them off as a way to save on Medicaid expenses.

    These laws, called filial responsibility laws, obligate adult children to provide necessities like food, clothing, housing, and medical attention for their indigent parents. According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative research organization, 21 states allow a civil court action to obtain financial support or cost recovery, 12 states impose criminal penalties on children who do not support their parents, and three states allow both civil and criminal actions. (For a list of the states and citations to state statutes, click here. Note that Idaho’s and New Hampshire’s statutes have since been repealed.)

  18. rikyrah says:

    House GOP had the better half of a decade to provide a viable alternative to the ACA. Instead, they scribbled some tax cuts on a bar napkin.

    — John Dingell (@JohnDingell) March 7, 2017

  19. rikyrah says:

    The GOP proposed “America Health Care Act (AHCA)” takes the “affordable” out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that they call Obamacare.

    — Al Giordano (@AlGiordano) March 7, 2017

    • Ametia says:

      There was never a “rapport” between PBO & #45 N.E.V.E.R

      President Barack Obama is an intelligent adult, who knows how to conduct himself and how to treat others with a modicum of respect.

  20. Madge Sinclair PLAYED that part of Belle. The most heartbreaking scene ever. A mother begging for her child not to be sold. Just ripped your insides out and shredded them.

    • Ametia says:

      Yes, but according to Unca Ben Coon-son they were immigrants, tho!

      Who in their right mind would agree to come from a country where they are the MAJORITY, with their own customs, culture, education, etc. to be treated lower than animals?


  21. rikyrah says:

    RETWEET: The “age tax” would force Americans age 50-64 to pay thousands of $$$ more for health care. Tell Congress #NoAgeTax!

    — AARP Advocates (@AARPadvocates) March 6, 2017

  22. rikyrah says:

    Republicans give rich investors a tax break in their Obamacare revamp

    — Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) March 8, 2017

  23. rikyrah says:

    Important to remember: GOP’s ACA repeal bill would cut 12% of CDC’s budget. Nightmare for pandemic preparedness.

    — Rachel Sachs (@RESachs) March 7, 2017

  24. rikyrah says:

    China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, AP reports

    — Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) March 8, 2017

  25. rikyrah says:

    New GOP health care plan would cut $1B disease prevention fund.

    — NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) March 8, 2017

  26. rikyrah says:

    JUST IN: American Medical Association opposes GOP healthcare bill

    — The Hill (@thehill) March 8, 2017

  27. rikyrah says:


    The Search for the Soul Ben Carson Once Possessed

    At first, I thought this piece would be a biting indictment of Carson, using humor, like Luvvie did in her piece.

    Somewhere along the line, the piece becomes biting and haunting, and painful.

    It’s well worth the read.

  28. rikyrah says:

    Republican health care plans break new ground in hypocrisy
    03/07/17 11:20 AM—UPDATED 03/07/17 02:16 PM
    By Steve Benen
    In many ways, calling out politicians for hypocrisy is almost too easy. Worse, hypocrisy is so common, it can be boring to talk about.

    But once in a while, the dynamic is so strong, and so jarring, even the most jaded and cynical of political observers have to pause and take note. Consider, for example, how House Republicans are proceeding with their alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

    Two House committees — Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce — plan to start reviewing the legislation this week. The bill must also move through the Budget and Rules committees before the full House can vote on it. Republican leaders say they want that to happen before Congress’ spring break begins April 7.

    Committee votes are likely begin as early as tomorrow.

    And on the surface, that’s plainly crazy. Lawmakers have no idea what the Republican bill costs, how many it will cover, how many Americans will lose their insurance, or what the impact will be on the budget deficit. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) hopes to rush the process to prevent everyone – voters, reporters, lawmakers, stakeholders, et al – from coming to terms with just how bad a bill he’s produced, so committees are poised to vote on a blueprint members know little about.

    But just below the surface, the picture looks even less flattering. For years, Republicans have complained bitterly that when “Obamacare” was coming together, Democrats wrote the bill behind closed doors, then rushed it through the legislative process. In reality, that’s never been altogether fair – the ACA was publicly available for a month before a single vote was cast, and it was the subject of 130 hearings across the five committees, all as part of a debate that lasted over a year – but we nevertheless now see the same lawmakers who whined writing a bill in private and trying to jam it down everyone’s throats.

    Republicans said the ACA was written without bipartisan input, which isn’t true, and which hasn’t stopped them from writing their alternative plan without even trying to solicit bipartisan input.

    Republicans said deductibles are too high under the ACA, which led them to write a bill in which deductibles will be even higher.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Pieces of Trump dossier check out despite investigative dearth
    Rachel Maddow notes that while the dossier of intelligence about Donald Trump ties to Russia remains unconfirmed, pieces of it have checked out upon investigation by the press, though the primary government investigators are former Trump campaign officials.

  30. rikyrah says:

    That scene of Kizzy being sold away is something that I still remember, after all these years. As a child watching it for the first time, the pain of her being taken away from her mother, and her mother losing her. Up until then, slavery was what you read in books. Seeing that pain on the screen is something that you never forget.

    • Ametia says:

      These scenes depicting the outrageous BRUTALITY & EVIL of slavery is why “Roots” was so powerfully profound. Our history being told in PRIMETIME.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Anyone watching the new show Time After Time?

  32. rikyrah says:

    Chaffetz tries and fails to defend the Republican health care plan
    By Steve Benen 03/07/17 01:00PM

    House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) has made quite a name for himself lately. The Utah Republican has gone to almost comical lengths to avoid scrutiny of Donald Trump’s many controversies, while simultaneously latching on to trivia, which he’s labeled “serious.”

    Yesterday, true to form, Chaffetz responded to the president’s new wiretap conspiracy theory by telling Fox News, “The Obama administration has been notorious on this type of stuff, and we’re going to look hard at it.” In reality, the Obama administration hasn’t been notorious for anything of the kind, and even Chaffetz conceded he’s seen no evidence to bolster Trump’s claims.

    This morning, as the Huffington Post noted, the GOP lawmaker was once again in the spotlight, this time making the case for his party’s woeful health care reform proposal.

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is proposing a quick fix for low-income Americans unable to afford coverage under President Donald Trump’s newly proposed health care law: Don’t buy an iPhone.

    The American Health Care Act, unveiled by House Republican leaders Monday, offers less financial assistance to low-income people than former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, so it would likely result in millions of Americans losing the health coverage they have today.

    But the Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Tuesday that Americans who might struggle to afford insurance under the GOP plan simply need to make the choice to “invest in health care.”

    Specifically, Chaffetz told CNN, “Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice. So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves.”

  33. rikyrah says:

    Trump betrays those who believed his health care promises
    By Steve Benen 03/08/17 08:00AM

    In the first 24 hours after House Republicans unveiled their new health care reform plan, one of the unexpected mysteries was whether Donald Trump liked it. Mixed signals from the White House raised the possibility that the Republican president might not endorse his own party’s legislation.

    A written statement from the White House on Monday night, for example, expressed lukewarm support and notably did not include an endorsement. The next morning, however, the president himself referred to House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) plan as “our wonderful new Healthcare Bill.” (Trump occasionally capitalizes words he thinks are important.)

    HHS Secretary Tom Price endorsed the GOP’s “American Health Care Act” in a letter to Congress, but a few hours later, he hedged during a press briefing. Vice President Mike Pence backed the bill, but Press Secretary Sean Spicer was more circumspect.

    It’s likely much of this is the result of a dysfunctional White House, which often struggles to keep its stories straight, but it’s possible Team Trump is struggling because it’s aware of a broader problem: by embracing this Republican plan, the president is doing the opposite of what he told Americans he would do for them. The New Yorker’s John Cassidy explained:

    The bill aims to take a wrecking ball to the principle of universal coverage. If enacted, millions of Americans would end up without any coverage. For many people who purchase individual policies, especially older people, it promises fewer services for more money. And it also proposes a big tax cut for the rich, which would be financed by slashing Medicaid, the federal program that provides health care to low-income people. […]

    Back in January, Donald Trump promised that the replacement for Obamacare would provide “insurance for everybody.” By endorsing the American Health Care Act, on Tuesday, Trump has broken his pledge.

    That’s no small development for a president who hasn’t yet been in office for seven weeks.

  34. rikyrah says:

    We Need to Talk About Trump’s Mental Health
    by Nancy LeTourneau
    March 8, 2017 8:00 AM

    One of the biggest reasons that mental health treatment has been hampered in the attempts by advocates to put it on parity with physical health treatment is the stigma associated with mental illness. The trouble is, that stigma is empowered by silence. Until we can talk as openly about depression as we do about the flu, that won’t change.

    We are now witnessing how that silencing works on a massive scale as we see the attempts to shut down any conversation about Donald Trump’s mental health. We are hearing talk of professional and journalistic ethics that continue to shroud mental illness in a cloak of mystery. Lee Siegal provides an interesting analogy:

    We don’t need to be told by a doctor that the guy who is coughing and sneezing at the other end of the train car is probably sick, though we don’t know if it is a cold, the flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, or an allergy. All we know is that the safe thing to do is to stay away from him. When someone is compulsively lying, continuously contradicting himself, imploring the approval of people even as he is attacking them, exalting people one day and abusing and vilifying them the next, then the question of his mental state is moot. The safe thing to do is not just to stay away from him, but to keep him away from situations where he can do harm.


    The distinction I would make is that the illness he describes doesn’t obviate the election of a president with a mental health disorder. In fact, it increases the chances of that happening unless we all engage in the cure he describes.

    I think it is important to have this conversation for two reasons. Not only do we need to address the political and psychological concerns of having someone like Donald Trump in the White House. Perhaps we can also bring the topic of mental illness out of the shadows and deal with the stigma under which it has been shrouded for too long.

  35. rikyrah says:

    * The folks at NBC’s First Read took a look at Trump’s history of lying and said, “Welcome to our post-truth presidency.” Then they pointed out why that is so dangerous.

    This all raises a question: What happens when a president cries wolf so many times? Can anyone believe him — even on matters like wars, national tragedies, and natural disasters? As NBC’s Benjy Sarlin wrote over the weekend, Trump alleged what would be an historic scandal about Obama, and barely anyone reacted with urgency. What, Sarlin asked, does that say about the White House? About his capacity to relay accurate information to the public? And his propensity to believe conspiracy theories?

    On “Today” this morning, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said this about Trump’s wire-tapping charges against Obama: “I think the president firmly believes it did [happen].” And isn’t that the biggest problem of all, especially when no one can produce any evidence?

  36. rikyrah says:

    “Surprisingly Presidential”
    How the GOP became the party of affirmative action for chronic under-achievers.
    by Mike Lofgren
    March 7, 2017

    “The soft bigotry of low expectations.” In the last two decades, this has become a catch phrase among Republicans seeking to deceive the public into thinking that it is they, not the Democrats, who are the authentic foes of discrimination. Since Michael Gerson, George W. Bush’s speechwriter, put that phrase in the mouth of Candidate Bush, conservative commentators have misattributed it to others with more prestige than the 43rd president, no doubt to give it a greater patina of sanctity. Any day now I expect to hear it credited to Jefferson or Lincoln.

    It is part of a familiar arsenal of conservative arguments: they play the part of concern trolls in order to criticize affirmative action, social promotion by schools, and similar policies. Affirmative action, according to this reasoning, makes minorities captive subjects of the Democratic plantation; if Martin Luther King were alive today, he’d be a Republican supporting tax credits and enterprise zones.

    Whatever the merits or demerits of affirmative action, the Republican position has always been hypocritical balderdash. The last three Republican presidents, born to inherited wealth, enjoyed either legacy entries into Ivy League universities, or a parent wealthy enough to purchase an admission. Log cabin to White House by dint of pluck, grit, and scholarship is not part of the GOP’s playbook. In fact, affirmative action suffuses the entire conservative business model.


    Let us tolerate no more Republican cant about meritocracy, personal responsibility, and all the other bootstrapping homilies. What else explains Betsy DeVos, a secretary of education so woefully ignorant of one of the central conflicts of American history that she thought historically black colleges were a bold experiment in school choice? What do we make of Rick Perry, duly confirmed as secretary of energy without a single dissenting Republican vote, who in 2012 could not even name the very department he had wanted to abolish and now leads? What about Ben Carson, whose bizarre theory about the Egyptian pyramids being grain storage buildings evidently so impressed Trump as to appoint him as housing secretary? We can only guess at what future HUD rental units will look like.

  37. rikyrah says:

    What Can Betsy DeVos Really Do?
    Experts on left and right assess possibilities for expanding school choice and limiting the work of the Office for Civil Rights

    by Emmanuel Felton
    March 7, 2017 4:44 PM

    A month into Betsy DeVos’ tenure as the new Secretary of Education, there is still a big question on the minds of many Americans: How much can she really change the nation’s schools?

    Her nomination was controversial from the start, because DeVos and her husband have spent decades pushing to give families more of a say in where their children are educated. They have used their own wealth and a robust fundraising apparatus to push lawmakers to approve school choice proposals that even some proponents of choice question: namely, public charter schools run by for-profit companies, and the use of taxpayer funds to pay private school tuition through vouchers.

    By appointing DeVos, President Donald Trump signaled that he was serious about his campaign promise to use $20 billion in federal funds to significantly expand school choice programs.

    But that’s not all that worries DeVos’ critics. There is also widespread concern about the fate of the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Her detractors particularly fear that she might roll back protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and that the federal government may walk away from its recent regulations meant to stem sexual assaults on college campuses.

  38. rikyrah says:

    Underground returns tonight!!!


  39. rikyrah says:

    Is Trumpcare Already Dead?
    The Republican replacement for Obamacare is such a mess that it has united people from across the political spectrum.
    March 8, 2017
    The rollout of the GOP’s long-awaited Obamacare replacement, the American Health Care Act, was a disaster. Instead of unveiling the bill with fanfare, it was leaked to the media on Monday night, which meant that there was precious little spin to help conservatives digest it. The following morning, Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah went on TV to play pitchman, and ended up dominating headlines by telling poor people they have to choose between a smartphone and health insurance. President Donald Trump embraced the bill, but also left a lot of daylight, creating an opening for congressional Republicans and conservative activists to criticize it. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price tried to patch things up by appearing at Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s midday lie jamboree, but came across as squirrelly and unprepared—his main argument for the bill was that it was short, as he stood next to a very tall stack of papers meant to represent Obamacare/big government. By evening, prominent Republicans were proclaiming that the AHCA was DOA and conservatives in the House were in revolt. “I don’t think it’s ever going to arrive in the Senate,” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul told CNN. “I think it’s dead on arrival in the House.”


    Republicans may agree that the bill stinks, but for vastly different reasons. Some, like the American Enterprise Institute’s Joe Antos. criticized the bill because it would be a political and moral and public health disaster and would cause 10 million to 15 million people to lose their health insurance over the next 10 years. (Some estimates are even higher!) If you think that health care is an entitlement, which is something that Democrats and Donald Trump seem to agree on, this bill is a disaster: It would make coverage more expensive and decrease quality of care.

    The counterargument provided by Tom Price is that the bill would offer more choice—you can pick your own doctor! But choice is a secondary concern. People want better care at lower prices, and this bill provides worse health care for higher prices. Perversely, by exchanging Obamacare’s subsidies for an ill-conceived tax credit plan, the AHCA would disproportionately affect the poor and the elderly, which you can see in this handy graphic by Axios Presented By U-North. The AARP, aka the GOP’s base of old people who need health care, isn’t happy and is already cutting ads against the AHCA.

    RETWEET: The “age tax” would force Americans age 50-64 to pay thousands of $$$ more for health care. Tell Congress #NoAgeTax!

    — AARP Advocates (@AARPadvocates) March 6, 2017

  40. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

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